Pro-Animal Research Op-Ed Featured Today in The Hill

Just this morning, the Capitol Hill newspaper and news site The Hill featured an op-ed discussing the critical importance of humane animal research in neuroscience and other fields of research.  The piece was penned by Hollis Cline, President of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) and Hahn Professor of Neuroscience at The Scripps Research Institute, and Mar Sanchez.  Sanchez is associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University, affiliate scientist in the Division of Developmental and Cognitive Neuroscience at Yerkes National Research Primate Center, and chair of the SfN’s Committee on Animals in Research (CAR).

Cline and Sanchez set the record straight by discussing the influential role that animal research has played in studying how the brain works so that revolutionary advancements could be brought to fruition.  Breakthroughs in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, the development of brain-controlled prosthetic devices for lost limbs and life-improving medications for those suffering from schizophrenia all owe their success to research with animals.  The authors even go further by noting that animal models have been the basis for nearly every medical discovery in the past century and cite NABR’s Top 25 Most Prescribed Drugs.

Animal research is an undeniably important component to medical discovery as Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), noted at the 2015 SfN Annual Meeting when he said, “We have to continually make the case for how valuable it has been to study animals in order to learn almost everything we know about how biology works.” He continued on to affirm the importance of non-human primates and other animals.

Today’s feature in The Hill follows a letter sent to Collins from Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and 27 other Democrats calling for the retirement of primates from a Poolesville, MD NIH research facility.

To read today’s piece in The Hill, please click here.

BREAKING NEWS: Closure of NIH Chimp Program Could Have Public Health Implications, FBR Warns

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is winding down its chimpanzee research program, with its remaining animals being moved to sanctuaries. The organization retired many of its chimps two years ago but has kept a small population for certain research of high public health importance, and observers warn eliminating that resource could have serious implications. "Given NIH’s primary mission to protect public health, it seems surprising," says Frankie Trull, President of the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR).

 

To read Nature's report on this breaking news, please click here.

USA Today Op-Ed by FBR’s President: “We’re Killing Chimps with Kindness”

The Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) continues to receive national attention for its effort to educate the public on the vital importance of animal research for both human and animal benefit.  Moments ago, USA Today featured an opinion piece by Frankie Trull, President FBR, discussing the pitfalls of a recent decision by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to classify captive chimpanzees as endangered species.

In, "We're Killing Chimps with Kindness," Ms. Trull discusses how the FWS’ recent re-designation of chimpanzees to the “endangered” list is effectively signing the death warrants for countless chimps.  She discusses the promising species-preserving research that will be lost to unnecessary regulation noting, "the move will effectively halt U.S. medical research with chimps — research that is moving ever-closer to yielding a vaccine for Ebola, which has wiped out one of every three great apes over the last two decades."

To read today's coverage of this important issue, please click here.  USA Today is the nation's top newspaper in circulation reaching 4,139,380 people.  Today's coverage is the latest addition to FBR coverage in other significant news outlets like the Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Sun-Times, and the Tampa Tribune.

If you'd like to help FBR continue spreading the word on the critical importance of humane animal research, please share "We're Killing Chimps with Kindness" with your friends, family, colleagues and on social media.  You can make a difference by donating to FBR by clicking below or by calling (202) 457-0654.

donate

NABR and Florida Research Primate Breeding Facilities Featured in Bloomberg Business

An in-depth article about four facilities providing nonhuman primates (NHP) for research, “How Monkeys Became Big Business in Florida,” appeared in yesterday's Bloomberg Business. While the piece is accompanied by some good photos of NHPs, the “moving” picture shown on the opening webpage stands to be misinterpreted. Nevertheless, the story by Felix Gillette is balanced and provides insights into a local situation receiving public attention. The sub-headline summarizes the situation: “The breeders are proud. The activists are mad. The neighbors are confused. And the monkeys still have good aim.”

Early in the article, NABR executive vice president Matthew Bailey explains the critical role monkeys play in basic scientific and medical research as well as in testing new drugs and vaccines before they are marketed. “The use of monkeys has been essential,” said Bailey, “in developing cures for everything from typhus to polio and is integral to the study of currently incurable diseases such as Alzheimer’s and AIDS.” He further suggested, “If you agree with the animal rights narrative, open up your medicine cabinet and throw out all your pills, including your child’s pain reliever. Because without animals in preclinical research and testing, we wouldn’t have them.”

To read this article, please click here.

Will a Ban on Chimpanzee Research Actually Do More Harm than Good?

Time and time again, animal rights supporters have stated that a ban on animal research is the best solution for the animals.  But is it really?  Debora MacKenzie with New Scientist published an article today that answers that important question with a surprising answer.

In her story, “Ban on chimp testing puts wild ape vaccine for Ebola at risk,” MacKenzie points out the devastating toll of the Ebola virus on both humans and wild chimpanzees in Africa.  After a 17 month outbreak claiming more than 11,000 victims, promising human trials are now underway across West Africa.  But what about the apes?  They too are susceptible to Ebola and according to the University of Cambridge, one third of the world’s gorilla population has been eradicated because of the virus, leaving the western lowland gorilla critically endangered.  Thanks to research at the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana, an edible vaccination is in development to prevent apes from spreading Ebola to each other.

This research may end because of a long campaign by animal rights supporters.  On September 15 a ban by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is set to begin on the use of captive chimpanzees in biomedical research.

To read the article and learn more about this important research and the impact of the ban, please click here.

Monkeys Influential in Regenerating Lost Limbs

This morning, CNN.com covered an interesting development in the research to develop regenerated limbs.  Thanks to animal research, science may be one step closer.

Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston are spearheading efforts to make limbs that can be transplanted in humans.  According to CNN, it is estimated that almost 185,000 amputations occur each year in America and that 2 million people are living with the loss of a limb.  Rodent and primate models have been important to the work at MGH to develop cells and structures to create a fully-functioning limb that would not be rejected by the body’s immune system.

To read CNN’s report and learn more about this breakthrough research, please click here.

New Ebola Vaccine Showing Promise in Monkeys

Late last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that researchers at the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) are working on a vaccine that has shown to protect macaques from infection from the Ebola virus within seven days.

Known as VSV-EBOV or rVSV-ZEBOV, the vaccine is the same one that was also reported by the LA Times to be effective in human trials in Guinea.  Andrea Marzi, coauthor of the study published in Science, told the newspaper that the next objective of the study was to observe whether the vaccine could work as a treatment for Ebola after exposure to the virus.

To learn more about the study, please read the report in Science and the LA Times’ coverage of the discovery.

Op-Ed on HIV/AIDS by NABR, FBR President Featured on Philly.com

An opinion piece by Frankie Trull, President of the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR) and the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR), has been featured in a major daily newspaper.

This morning, Philly.com, the website for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, printed her opinion piece, “Animal research crucial to creating AIDS treatments,” a telling discussion on the importance of animal research in the war on HIV/AIDS.  Nonhuman primates (NhP) have been a crucial cog in science’s efforts to discover a cure to this horrendous virus and thanks to the work at the Wistar Institute with these animals, we could be on the cusp of eradicating AIDS.  Additionally, let’s not forget that these studies could yield results to successfully treat SIV, the variant of HIV that effects monkeys.

To read the story, please click here, and feel free to share it with your friends, family, and colleagues.

Animal Activist Pressure Results in House Appropriations Report Language

A months-long, multi-pronged campaign by a variety of animal rights groups against some National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported research projects involving nonhuman primates has resulted in a reference made in the report accompanying the House Committee on Appropriations bill for FY 2016. Included with many other comments and issues raised in the 263-page report, is this paragraph:

Review of Maternal Deprivation Studies.—The Committee is aware that prominent experts and animal advocacy organizations have raised concerns about the scientific and ethical justifications for maternal deprivation studies involving baby monkeys being conducted in both intramural and extramural NIH funded laboratories. The Committee is further aware that the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare opened an investigation in response to these allegations on September 9, 2014. The investigations consulted with research investigators, the USDA, nonhuman primate center scientists, veterinarians, animal care staff and other relevant experts. As a result of the investigation, several modifications were made to the protocol and several procedures removed. Accordingly, the Committee requests NIH to conduct a review of its ethical policies and processes with respect to nonhuman primate research subjects, in consultation with outside experts, to ensure it has appropriate justification for animal research protocols and to provide an update on these efforts in the fiscal year 2017 budget request.

The Guardian Features Editorial Supporting Primate Research

On Monday, May 25, The Guardian featured an editorial lauding the importance of animals, specifically the use of primate models, in medical research.  The piece, titled, The Guardian view on vital medical research on primates: don’t give in to the animal rights advocates, even states that abandoning primate research would be “craven and foolish.”

The Guardian describes the animal rights extremist agenda against prominent European researcher Nikos Logothetis and his important work.  The piece also highlights extraordinary work by neuroscientists in California that have enabled a paralyzed patient to control a robotic arm through his brain’s impulses, a development achieved through research with monkeys.

Please take a moment to read this editorial by clicking here.

Page 3 of 41234